By SIMPSON AOPE
THE University of Technology Council has resolved to salvage the 2016 academic year.
It set up a tentative starting date of August 29 August, pending approval by the Academic Board.
The last days of exams would be December 9. Considering the gravity, complexity, sensitivity and multiplicity of circumstances and facts this decision was made after a very robust and extensive deliberation which included consideration of various options, all possible ramifications, and a comprehensive risk and benefit matrix.
The unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances of the case entail consideration of an extensive range of ramifications of which the major ones are:
– restoration of the rule of law and normalcy;
– consideration of government decreed Commission of Inquiry and imposition of curfew;
– institutional safety and security;
– reconciliation and mediation between the disputing groups;
– institutional reputation;
– trauma counselling for students and staff;
– risks of losing TESAS students’ scholarship;
– financial considerations;
– police and independent university investigations;
– status of the Student Representative Council (SRC);
– reconstruction of a temporary mess; and
– and repairs and maintenance of dormitories.
The capital costs of the damage to the infrastructure is about K40 million – K35 million for the mess, K2 million for Department of Open and Distance Learning, K2 million for Appropriate Technology and Community Development Institute and K1 million to male students halls of residence.
The university will make a special submission to the government, since without additional support it will be unable to finish the academic year.
The incremental operational costs for resuming classes until 21 June was around K4 million due to increased costs for security and messing costs.
With resumption on 29 August, another K8 million will be spent, which has not been budgeted for.
Any later resumption will entail higher costs. Given the tight timeline and diverse range and complexity of challenges, Council also discussed in close consultation with management and laid out the following implementation principles and framework.